- Great image quality, easy to use, customisable recording qualities
- Lack of manual controls, slightly lowered performance in low light settings
A great all-round camera, the HG10 is streamlined towards delivering high quality video in ideal conditions. The lack of manual controls may frustrate advanced users, however most will find it to be an excellent camcorder.
Price$ 2,199.00 (AUD)
Canon's new HG10 is a 40GB HDD-based, 1920x1080 resolution camcorder. Coming at a respectable price point for a high-definition video camera, the HG10 delivers great quality recording along with a useful, albeit at times limited, feature set. One of the better HD camcorders that we've seen, its functionality and ease of use make it a solid choice for a wide variety of users.
Video quality is very impressive, delivering clear, sharp images along with rich and accurate colour reproduction. Although it boasts impressive performance in brightly lit, steadily shot conditions, we did notice that quality suffered slightly in low light or high motion environments. Noise was more prominent in our motion and low light tests, and in low light conditions colour reproduction was affected, with greens becoming slightly more prominent and reds tending to be a little more faded.
This issue is to be expected with the vast majority of digital camcorder, although with the HG10 it is somewhat compounded by the relatively slim manual control settings, which are limited to auto white balance. A front-mounted lamp is provided to help illuminate close up objects in low light settings, but unfortunately distant objects may prove more challenging. A variety of image effects are also available. Despite the lack of manual focus, however, the autofocus is incredibly responsive and performed exceptionally in all our tests.
Video quality can be selected from a range of four possible modes -- LP (5Mbps and approximately 15 hours of shooting), SP (7Mbps and approximately 12 hours of shooting), XP (9Mbps and approximately 10 hours of shooting), and HXP (15Mbps and approximately 6 hours of shooting). This provides the user with a lot more versatility when it comes to shooting different scenes which will have different quality requirements. We did notice that the camera has retained its slight difficulty with high motion and low light scenes in lower quality modes, and at times these problems became more pronounced.
Despite being primarily a video camera, the HG10 includes a highly functional still image capture option. Unlike many other camcorders, the HG10 images can be captured whilst filming, a useful addition which prevents the necessity of using a computer to extract a still from a movie scene. Images can be captured at up to 3 megapixels, and are of decent quality considering the camera's design as a predominantly video model. An additional high speed continuous shooting mode adds more functionality.
The on-screen interface is simple to navigate, and intuitively laid out. A scroll wheel to the left of the screen makes navigation easy, and the relatively small number of features helps to keep the menus simple and free of clutter.
Canon has implemented a standard and highly effective design with the HG10. Because of its HDD, it's slightly bulkier than a DVD or MiniDV model, but still sits comfortably in the hand, with all buttons in easy reach of the fingers or thumb. Even with the included battery, it's quite light. Our only qualm with the design is that the Quickstart button (which provides a 'startup' from standby mode of less than one second) isn't accessible with the right hand, but ultimately this is of little consequence.
The HG10 can be connected to a TV set via either HDMI or component cables, as well as composite, or to a PC via USB. No FireWire connections are available, although microphone and headphone jacks are both present.
Overall, the HG10 is a highly impressive camera. Definitely geared more towards the home user, rather than the professional, it nevertheless delivers excellent quality and a wide range of versatility, along with an easy-to-use interface. Despite a few drawbacks, it's nevertheless worth considering for anyone in the market for a high-definition camcorder.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft's Story Remix uses machine learning and mixed reality to make your movies awesome
- New IoT malware targets 100,000 IP cameras via known flaw
- Facebook launches tool for capturing 360 video inside VR
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro finally adds 4K video support for local files
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCReporting Business AnalystACT
- TPSenior .Net DeveloperSA
- FTIT Field Services ManagerNSW
- CCPMO CoordinatorNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTSalesforce ConsultantQLD
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- CCEnd to End Project ManagerVIC
- TPSystems EngineerQLD
- CCInfrastructure Test ManagerNSW
- FTChange ManagerQLD
- FTNodeJS and AngularJS DeveloperQLD
- CCBusiness SpecialistVIC
- FTSoftware TesterACT
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- FTProject Control Analyst - PMONSW
- FTManager, DevOpsQLD
- FTDigital Marketing Executive / Content ProducerNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- CCData Migration Lead | Recruitment Focus | DocklandsVIC
- TPProject Manager | Applications and Project InitiationQLD
- FTSenior Analyst - Rostering ProjectNSW
- FTDigital Developer | LAMP Stack | Digital AgencyNSW
- CCData AnalystNSW